Exclusives

Hopes are momentum generated will keep the country on companies’ radars despite today’s market conditions.

Egypt, oil, OTC, Tarek El-Molla, natural gas, Apache, John Christmann

Hopes are momentum generated will keep the country on companies’ radars despite today’s market conditions.

deepwater, oil, West Africa, production, project, Douglas Westwood, FPSO, Total, Eni, Tullow Oil

But offshore activity is robust today for some companies nearing startup for projects sanctioned before the downturn.

Tullow Oil, Kenya, discovery, oil, Kerio Valley, basin, exploration, Cheptuket, South Lokichar

The discovery could signal another basin opening in East Africa. The Cheptuket-1 well was the first to test oil potential in the Kerio Valley Basin.

Zohr, Eni, Egygpt, offshore, natural gas, Nooros, discovery, appraisal

Eni’s continued exploration success in Egypt comes amid a downturn that has caused some companies to reduce exploration spending.

Deepwater International

Anadarko Petroleum has decided to terminate its charter of the Dolphin Drilling drillship Belford Dolphin in September this year, with the unit currently working for the operator off east Africa’s Mozambique.

The battle to win the contract to design and build a world-class FLNG unit to be used by Eni and its partners on a mega-gas project offshore Mozambique is coming to the boil.

Various subsea equipment will be delivered throughout 2015 and 2016.

UK independent Sterling Energy has had the exploration period for two frontier blocks northwest of Madagascar extended.

The contract is for a firm charter period of 15 years with five yearly extension options exercisable by the client. 

Exploration

Sonangol said Block 20/11 held an estimated 313 MMbbl  of condensate and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of gas, Reuters reported.

'The initial data set is of good quality and clearly indicates the presence of the prolific Abu Madi trend within the block,' SDX Energy said in a news release.

The well was completed as a producer in the Shagar formation and flowed on a test light 43.6 degree API oil at an average rate of 1,714 bbl/d with 3.062 MMscf/d of associated gas, according to a news release.

Mazarine will seek low cost, low-risk investments in onshore fields in Romania and North Africa, chairman and founder Edward van Kersbergen told Reuters. CIEP acquired Romanian assets in March 2015.

Privately-owned Standard Newspaper quoted the Energy and Petroleum ministry as saying it aimed to hold an auction for the new blocks in 2017.

Production

"Today we have around 60 blocks. We've awarded about 20," Ibrahima Diaby, Petroci's managing director, said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Ivory Coast's capital, Yamoussoukro.

VAALCO Energy, Inc. announced that it has executed an agreement with Transocean Ltd. regarding the remaining contract term associated with the Constellation II rig.

Technical problems at the huge field also led the oil and gas producer to cut its West Africa oil production guidance for 2016, as previously expected, by around 12,000 bbl/d to between 62,000 and 68,000 bbl/d.

The company, which also has projects in Kenya and Uganda, hopes to begin production at the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme oil field, which is close to Jubilee, in July or August.

Cameroon earned the equivalent of US$142 million, in CFA francs, from its oil and gas activities between January and April, SNH said, according to Reuters.

Subsea Engineering

OneSubsea has been awarded a $170 million engineering, procurement and construction contract from Petrobel for the first stage of the Zohr gas field, located in the Shorouk Concession, offshore Egypt. 

BP and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (EGAS) have sanctioned the development of the Atoll Phase One project.

Kosmos Energy said its Ahmeyim-2 appraisal well has successfully delineated the Ahmeyim and Guembeul gas discoveries offshore Mauritania and Senegal, paving the way for an LNG project in the region.

Eni can move to the next stage of its development of the Coral discovery in Area 4 offshore Mozambique after the plan of development was approved by the country’s government.

Anadarko and its partners in Area 1 and Area 4 in the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique have signed an unitisation deal for the two blocks to bring development closer.

Technology

Late on July 11, Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers said on its website that it had blown up an ExxonMobil facility but the Houston company has dismissed those claims.

But political infighting, more potential militant attacks and technical problems and damage to long-closed pipelines, fields and ports mean that recovering lost production could be a long process, Reuters said.

On July 5, the group said it blew up a well and oil pipelines near the city of Warri in Nigeria's southern oil hub, Reuters reported.

The group said it blew up a Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. manifold, close to Banta, and two crude pipelines operated by the state oil company NNPC, adding that it also blew up "Chevron Well 10" close to Otunana flow station.

Nouredine Bouterfa, the head of state power firm Sonelgaz, was named as the new energy minister, replacing Salah Khebri, while junior budget minister Hadji Baba Ammi was appointed to replace Abderrahmane Benkhalfa at the finance ministry, a statement carried by state media said.